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Austen, Jane

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Austen, Jane

Rare books by Jane Austen, including first editions, copies in fine bindings, and handsome sets of her collected works.

Jane Austen is one of England’s most revered writers, known for her witty novels of manners. Four of her full-length novels were published during her lifetime in three-volume format, beginning with Sense and Sensibility in 1811, and her most successful work, Pride and Prejudice in 1813. NorthangerAbbey and Persuasion were published posthumously together in four volumes in 1818. Austen’s earlier novels had been financially successful, but sales of the final two tailed off.

Her books remained out of print for 12 years until publisher Richard Bentley purchased the rights and issued the first inexpensive, single-volume illustrated editions in his Standard Novels series. But Austen remained a relatively marginal author until the publication of her nephew’s Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869, which renewed interest in her books and led to increasingly serious literary analysis of her work. In the 1890s, collected editions, many of them illustrated, began to appear. Today her first editions, the Bentley editions, and the later collected editions are all highly sought-after by collectors.

Read our blog entry By A Lady: First Editions of the Novels of Jane Austen

Watch a video of Adam Douglas, our Senior Specialist in Early Literature, introducing a selection of Jane Austen’s first editions and explaining how the different Jane Austen bindings affect value..

Rare books by Jane Austen, including first editions, copies in fine bindings, and handsome sets of her collected works.

Jane Austen is one of England’s most revered writers, known for her witty novels of manners. Four of her full-length novels were published during her lifetime in three-volume format, beginning with Sense and Sensibility in 1811, and her most successful work, Pride and Prejudice in 1813. NorthangerAbbey and Persuasion were published posthumously together in four volumes in 1818. Austen’s earlier novels had been financially successful, but sales of the final two tailed off.

Her books remained out of print for 12 years until publisher Richard Bentley purchased the rights and issued the first inexpensive, single-volume illustrated editions in his Standard Novels series. But Austen remained a relatively marginal author until the publication of her nephew’s Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869, which renewed interest in her books and led to increasingly serious literary analysis of her work. In the 1890s, collected editions, many of them illustrated, began to appear. Today her first editions, the Bentley editions, and the later collected editions are all highly sought-after by collectors.

Read our blog entry By A Lady: First Editions of the Novels of Jane Austen

Watch a video of Adam Douglas, our Senior Specialist in Early Literature, introducing a selection of Jane Austen’s first editions and explaining how the different Jane Austen bindings affect value..

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  1. Sense and Sensibility: A Novel.
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    [AUSTEN, Jane.]

    Sense and Sensibility: A Novel. 1811

    £25,000

    First edition of the author’s first published novel, one of 750 copies. Begun in the mid-1790s, Sense and Sensibility, like Pride and Prejudice, went through two versions before publication, but the fact that it was published first was more or less accidental. First Impressions (the … Read more

  2. Sense and Sensibility.
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    [AUSTEN, Jane.]

    Sense and Sensibility. 1813

    £12,500

    Second edition. An attractive copy in an uncommon contemporary binding. Sense and Sensibility was first published in late 1811, and the first edition was sold out by July 1813. This second edition, with the text significantly revised by Austen and the substitution of “By the … Read more

  3. Pride & Prejudice: A Novel.
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    [AUSTEN, Jane.]

    Pride & Prejudice: A Novel. 1813

    £47,500

    First edition. Pride and Prejudice was written between October 1796 and August 1797 when Jane Austen was not yet 21, the same age, in fact, as her fictional heroine Elizabeth Bennet. After an early rejection by the publisher Cadell, Austen’s novel was finally bought by … Read more

  4. Pride & Prejudice: a novel.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride & Prejudice: a novel. 1817

    £5,500

    Third edition, the only one of Austen’s novels to be published a third time in her lifetime (though whether it was actually published before or after her death on 18 July 1817 is unknown). Read more

  5. Pride and Prejudice.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride and Prejudice. [1853]

    £875

    First Tweedie edition. Read more

  6. The Complete Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Complete Novels. 1866

    £2,500

    An attractively bound set of Austen’s novels. Richard Bentley first issued these books in his Standard Novels series in 1833, and the firm reissued them several times over the course of the century. Read more

  7. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1870

    £2,250

    New edition. Richard Bentley first published Jane Austen’s works in his Standard Novels series in 1833 and he continued to reprint her works for the next half century, representing the bridge from the original lifetime editions to the later critical and fully illustrated editions. Read more

  8. [series title:] Austen’s Novels:
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    [series title:] Austen’s Novels: 1886–1892

    £3,250

    A very handsome set; apparently a reprint of the Steventon edition of 1882 and rather scarce: both Keynes and Gilson report having “not seen this”. Read more

  9. Sense and Sensibility; Emma; Pride and Prejudice; Mansfield Park; Northanger Abbey [and] Persuasion; A Memoir, by her Nephew J. E. Austen Leigh. Sixth edition to which is added Lady Susan and fragments of two other unfinished tales.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Sense and Sensibility; Emma; Pride and Prejudice; Mansfield Park; Northanger Abbey [and] Persuasion; A Memoir, by her Nephew J. E. Austen Leigh. Sixth edition to which is added Lady Susan and fragments of two other unfinished tales. 1885–91

    £3,250

    A particularly attractive set of the Bentley edition (originally published in 1833) of Austen’s collected novels. The final volume in the set includes J. E. Austen Leigh’s Memoir of his aunt Jane Austen, together with “Lady Susan” and fragments of two other unfinished tales, thus … Read more

  10. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1892

    £1,375

    The International Novelist Library edition. A handsomely bound set. Read more

  11. Pride & Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride & Prejudice. 1894

    £2,250

    First Hugh Thomson edition. Handsomely bound by Bayntun-Riviere. Read more

  12. Pride & Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride & Prejudice. 1894

    £6,000

    First Thomson edition, one of 250 large paper copies for Britain, with another 25 done for America. Thomson’s “light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author’s work” (ODNB). Beautifully bound by the Chelsea Bindery. Read more

  13. Pride & Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride & Prejudice. 1894

    £2,750

    First Thomson edition, first impression, attractively bound. Thomson’s “light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author’s work” (ODNB). Read more

  14. Pride & Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride & Prejudice. 1894

    £2,750

    First Hugh Thomson edition. Thomson’s “light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author’s work” (ODNB). Read more

  15. Pride & Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride & Prejudice. 1894

    £1,500

    First Thomson edition, first impression, attractively bound. Thomson’s “light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author’s work” (ODNB). Read more

  16. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1895

    £1,350

    After Richard Bentley the fledgling London publisher J. M. Dent was the next to take up Jane Austen’s novels for publication. The first Dent ten-volume set of the novels, published in 1892–98, is notable as the first to have any critical apparatus. This set … Read more

  17. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1897-8

    £2,250

    A particularly attractive set of Austen’s novels with the charming illustrations by Thomson and Brock. Read more

  18. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1900

    £3,000

    A handsomely bound set. Read more

  19. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1901-03

    £2,250

    A handsomely bound set of the prettiest edition of Jane Austen, originally issued in 1898. Read more

  20. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1903-1907.

    £1,500

    A Handsomely bound set. Read more

  21. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1903-06

    £1,750

    A handsome set of Jane Austen’s novels with illustrations by Hugh Thomson. Read more

  22. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1905–06

    £2,450

    The Winchester Edition, the most attractive of the unillustrated editions of Jane Austen’s works produced around this time. The Winchester Edition was first published by Grant Richards in 1898; this is the first John Grant issue. Read more

  23. The Novels and Letters.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels and Letters. 1906

    £6,000

    Limited edition, number 954 of 1250 copies. An exceedingly handsome set, delicately illustrated. C. E. Brock (1870–1938) first appeared as an illustrator of Jane Austen for Macmillan’s 1895-7 series, though he illustrated only Pride and Prejudice, with Hugh Thomson illustrating the other five titles. That … Read more

  24. Emma.
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    (BROCK, C. E.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma. 1909

    £1,250

    First Brock edition of Austen’s Emma, a fresh copy in the deluxe vellum binding, published as part of the “Series of English Idylls” by J. M. Dent & Co. Though sometimes qualified as “chocolate-box”, Brock’s illustrations showed a sharp eye for characterisation and the ironic … Read more

  25. The Novels [and] The Letters.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels [and] The Letters. 1923–32

    £4,500

    Large-paper edition, limited to 1000 sets, of which 950 are for sale. A particularly handsome set of Austen’s novels. Read more

  26. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1923

    £3,750

    First Clarendon press edition. One of a limited edition of 1,000 sets on large paper with the letters in 2 volumes. Read more

  27. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1923

    £3,750

    First Clarendon Press edition, one of 1,000 sets printed on large paper. Read more

  28. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1923

    £8,500

    First Clarendon press edition. One of a limited edition of 1,000 sets on large paper with the letters in 2 volumes. Read more

  29. The Adelphi Edition of the Works.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Adelphi Edition of the Works. 1923

    £950

    A handsomely bound set, volume VII comprising Lady Susan and The Watsons Read more

  30. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. 1926

    £1,500

    Second Chapman edition, originally published by the Clarendon Press in 1923. A very attractive set. Read more

  31. The Complete Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Complete Novels. 1928

    £1,375

    First one-volume edition. Read more

  32. The Complete Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Complete Novels. 1928

    £1,375

    First one-volume edition. Read more

  33. The Works.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Works. [c.1940]

    £500

    Complete set of the Adelphi Edition of Austen’s works. This edition was originally published by Martin Secker in 1930. Read more

  34. [The Novels:]
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    (BROCK, C. E.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    [The Novels:] 1950–55

    £2,250

    An attractively bound set of the charmingly illustrated novels, first published with Brock’s illustrations between 1907 and 1909. C. E. Brock (1870-1938) first appeared as an illustrator of Jane Austen for Macmillan’s 1895-7 series, though he illustrated only Pride and Prejudice, with Hugh Thomson illustrating … Read more

  35. Emma.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma. 1991

    £175

    A handsome leather bound volume of this classic novel which was first published in 1816. Read more

  1. New Arrival

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